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Abstract

Proficient bilinguals use two languages actively, but the contexts in which they do so may differ dramatically. The present study asked what consequences the contexts of language use hold for the way in which cognitive resources modulate language abilities. Three groups of speakers were compared, all of whom were highly proficient Spanish-English bilinguals who differed with respect to the contexts in which they used the two languages in their everyday lives. They performed two lexical production tasks and the "AX" variant of the Continuous Performance Task (AX-CPT), a nonlinguistic measure of cognitive control. Results showed that lexical access in each language, and how it related to cognitive control ability, depended on whether bilinguals used their languages separately or interchangeably or whether they were immersed in their second language. These findings suggest that even highly proficient bilinguals who speak the same languages are not necessarily alike in the way in which they engage cognitive resources. Findings support recent proposals that being bilingual does not, in itself, identify a unique pattern of cognitive control. An important implication is that much of the controversy that currently surrounds the consequences of bilingualism may be understood, in part, as a failure to characterize the complexity associated with the context of language use. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

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... Whether someone is trying to decipher multilingual signs at high speeds on the highway, order coffee in a bilingual city, or communicate academic research to multilingual peers, the people involved in these interactions bring to the table their individual levels of language knowledge, language fluency, language preferences, overt goals, and covert intentions. Bilingual environments thus have fluctuating language demands (Anderson et al., 2018;Beatty-Martinez et al., 2019;Grosjean, 2001;Gullifer et al., 2020;López, 2020;López et al., 2020;Tiv, Gullifer, et al., 2020b), which corresponds with a set of cognitive, linguistic, and social uncertainties. Individuals must resolve or adapt to these uncertainties by tuning the neurocognitive systems responsible for language and cognitive control (Abutalebi & Green, 2016;Green & Abutalebi, 2013;Green & Wei, 2014). ...
... The notion of behavioral context is central to many usage-based theories about language and bilingualism, because people perceive and produce the various languages that they know with interlocutors in their environments (such as at home or in the workplace). This rich contextualization of language has wide-ranging consequences for language fluency, processing, representation and control, and it may also carry consequences for domain general cognitive control and underlying brain mechanisms (Adler et al., 2020;Anderson et al., 2018;Beatty-Martinez et al., 2019;Green & Abutalebi, 2013;Grosjean, 2001Grosjean, , 2016Hofweber et al., 2020;Tiv, Gullifer, et al., 2020b). To give one example, the adaptive control hypothesis (Green & Abutalebi, 2013) posits that language usage within particular INTERACTIONAL CONTEXTS will have adaptive consequences for control and brain organization, where interactional contexts consist of the "recurrent pattern of conversational exchanges within a community of speakers" (Green & Abutalebi, 2013, p. 516). ...
... Thus, when faced with uncertainty, task performance becomes more variable and may encourage learning in the short term. Over the long term, learners may adapt their neurocognitive systems to expect or otherwise manage the types of persistent, ambient uncertainties that regularly occur in the environment (e.g., Beatty-Martinez et al., 2019). These adaptations could take many forms, including shifting expectations about altering linguistic material, altering cognitive control strategies, or incorporating code-switching or translanguaging practices. ...
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Bilinguals have distinct linguistic experiences relative to monolinguals, stemming from interactions with the environment and individuals therein. Theories of language control hypothesize that these experiences play a role in adapting the neurocognitive systems responsible for control. Here we posit a potential mechanism for these adaptations, namely that bilinguals face additional language-related uncertainties on top of other ambiguities that regularly occur in language, such as lexical and syntactic competition. When faced with uncertainty in the environment, people adapt internal representations to lessen these uncertainties, which can aid in executive control and decision-making. We overview a cognitive framework on uncertainty, which we extend to language and bilingualism. We then review two “case studies” assessing language-related uncertainty for bilingual contexts using language entropy and network scientific approaches. Overall, we find that there is substantial individual variability in the extent to which people experience language related uncertainties in their environments, but also regularity across some contexts. This information, in turn, predicts cognitive adaptations associated with language fluency and engagement in proactive cognitive control strategies. These findings suggest that bilinguals adapt to the cumulative language-related uncertainties in the environment. We conclude by suggesting avenues for future research and links with other research domains. Ultimately, a focus on uncertainty will help bridge traditionally separate scientific domains, such as language processing, bilingualism, and decision-making.
... To understand how language training and language immersion may impose consequences for language regulation and cognitive control, we first need to take into account the emerging evidence on the consequences of the interactional context in which two languages are used (Beatty-Martinez et al., 2020;Blanco-Elorrieta & Pylkkänen, 2018;Gullifer & Titone, 2019;Hartanto & Yang, 2020;Pot, Keijzer, & de Bot, 2018). ...
... More recent studies consider the ways that specific environments for bilingualism may vary in the demands that are placed on speakers to use the two languages interchangeably or to keep them separate, to code switch with other bilingual speakers or not, and to judge with whom they can speak one or both languages. To illustrate, Beatty-Martinez et al. (2020) demonstrated that proficient Spanish-English bilinguals who lived in three different locations differed in the degree to which language production engaged the same or different aspects of inhibitory control. Bilinguals immersed in an L1 environment in which the languages are used separately, tended to be more reliant on reactive components of control, whereas bilinguals immersed in the L2 revealed greater reliance on proactive components of control. ...
... These results suggest that bilinguals immersed in L1 used more reactive control while bilinguals immersed in L2 used more proactive control. We return to this finding in the discussion to consider how our results compare to other recent studies that have examined the engagement of cognitive control processes across different bilingual interactional contexts (e.g., Beatty-Martinez et al., 2020). ...
Article
When bilinguals switch languages they regulate the more dominant language to enable spoken production in the less dominant language. How do they engage cognitive control to accomplish regulation? We examined this issue by comparing the consequences of training on language switching in two different contexts. Chinese-English bilinguals were immersed in English (L2) while studying abroad (this study) or in Chinese (L1) in their native language environment (Zhang et al., 2015). In each study, participants performed the AX-CPT task while EEG was recorded and were then trained on language switching. While Zhang et al. found that training enhanced proactive control in the L1 context, there were no effects of training under L2 immersion conditions. Critically, L2 immersed bilinguals revealed enhanced proactive control at pre-test and greater L1 inhibition on language switching relative to L1 immersed bilinguals. We hypothesize that L2 immersion creates a natural training context that increases reliance on proactive control to enable regulation of the L1.
... Besides, bilingualism is not a categorical variable and what constitutes the experience of bilinguals and monolinguals has very fuzzy boundaries (Luk & Bialystok, 2013;Surrain & Luk, 2019). Individuals can develop as bilinguals in many ways based on their own experience in language use and learning, which may further have a distinct impact on both language and cognitive control (Beatty-Martínez et al., 2020;Pot et al., 2018). ...
... In this vein, an increasing number of researchers (e.g., Beatty-Martínez & Dussias, 2017;Hartanto & Yang, 2016;Jylkkä et al., 2018;Lai & O'Brien, 2020;Soveri et al., 2011) have shifted their attention to within-group investigation to tease apart the effects of bilingualism from other confounding effects (Wu & Thierry, 2013), and explore how bilingual language experience interacts with language and cognitive control efficiency. The effects of different aspects of bilingual experience, such as L2 proficiency (e.g., Bonfieni et al., 2019;Pivneva et al., 2012;Singh & Kar, 2018), code-switching (e.g., Beatty-Martínez & Dussias, 2017;Hofweber et al., 2020a;Yim & Bialystok, 2012), and bilingual language use (e.g., Beatty-Martínez et al., 2020;Gullifer et al., 2018;Gullifer & Titone, 2020), on cognitive control have been explored in numerous relevant studies. ...
... Supports of ACH showed positive effects of a dual-language context on facilitating bilinguals' nonverbal cognitive shifting (Hartanto & Yang, 2016 and efficiency in interference control (Beatty-Martínez et al., 2020;Ooi et al., 2018;Pot et al., 2018). However, some studies provided inconsistent evidence to the ACH predictions. ...
Article
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The Adaptive Control Hypothesis (ACH, Green & Abutalebi, 2013) proposed that different interactional contexts place different demands on cognitive processes for bilinguals. However, how cognitive control processes dynamically adapt to comprehending and producing languages in different interactional contexts is still poorly understood. This study investigated how different language interactional contexts (i.e., single-language, dual-language and dense code-switching) modulate cognitive control in bilingual language comprehension. Inhibitory control in 36 Chinese-English bilinguals was examined through flanker tasks. Participants’ language and cognitive control statuses in the three interactional contexts were manipulated through three different types of dialogue-listening. After they listened to each type of dialogue, they were instructed to complete the flanker task and answer ten comprehension questions related to the dialogue. Repeated-measures ANOVA compared participants’ reaction times and response accuracy in flanker tasks across the three interactional contexts. Similarly, their language comprehension performance across different interactional contexts were also compared. Both the dual-language and Chinese single-language contexts showed significant facilitatory effects on participants’ inhibitory control efficiency. Furthermore, participants performed more accurately on answering comprehension questions in the Chinese single-language context, indicating the dominant language effects on modulating bilinguals’ language comprehension performance. Such effects were not found in the dense code-switching and dual-language contexts. This study provided empirical evidence for confirming the Adaptive Control Hypothesis by revealing the facilitatory effects of dual-language context on cognitive control in bilingual language comprehension process. In general, it is an attempt to explore the associations between interactional contexts and cognitive control through bilingual language and cognitive processing manipulations.
... Bilingual language experience may impact cognitive control (e.g., Luk et al., 2011;Lehtonen et al., 2018;Van den Noort et al., 2019; but see Paap et al., 2019;Beatty-Martínez et al., 2020). The debate on the cognitive consequences of bilingualism has been complicated by difficulties conceptualizing bilingualism due to variability in language background factors such as proficiency, exposure, sociolinguistic context of language use, and age of acquisition. ...
... The results demonstrate a bilingual advantage in 54% of studies, with 17% of studies revealing null effects. To account for differences in findings, research is beginning to examine how variability in bilingual experiences shapes cognitive control (e.g., Beatty-Martínez et al., 2020;Bonfieni et al., 2020). To accomplish this goal, multiple dimensions of bilingualism should be considered while targeting theoretically motivated aspects of cognitive control (e.g., Bonfieni et al., 2020). ...
... The adaptive control hypothesis posits that bilinguals respond adaptively to the demands on language use within their sociolinguistic environments (Green and Abutalebi, 2013). Indeed, a number of studies suggest that cognitive control is shaped by bilinguals' contexts, such as whether they are exposed to primarily single language use vs. dual language use environments (Green and Wei, 2014;Green, 2018;Beatty-Martínez et al., 2020;Beatty-Martínez and Titone, 2021;Khodos and Moskovsky, 2021;Zhang et al., 2021). Here, we consider sociolinguistic context as a constellation of variables that constitute bilingual experience, such as L2 proficiency, exposure, and age of L2 acquisition. ...
Article
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To examine how differences in language experience and sociolinguistic context impact cognitive control, 146 Spanish-English bilingual participants were tested on a non-linguistic Stroop arrows task. Dimensions of language experience included a continuum of L2 proficiency, exposure, age of L2 acquisition, and English receptive vocabulary, along with cognitive non-verbal reasoning. Sociolinguistic context varied with more exposure to Spanish for participants in Southern California (SoCal) than in the Midwest. The task involved perceptual stimulus-stimulus conflict within stimulus features (e.g., right-pointing arrow on the left side of a display). Reaction times to trials where arrow location and direction matched (congruent), mismatched (incongruent), or arrow location was centered (neutral) were used to calculate Stroop (incongruent-congruent), facilitation (neutral-congruent), and inhibition (incongruent-neutral) effects. When examining performance on a continuum of bilingual language experience, individual differences in linguistic background (i.e., L2 proficiency and exposure, receptive vocabulary) and cognitive abilities (i.e., non-verbal reasoning abilities) predicted more efficient performance on the Stroop task. Across sociolinguistic contexts, findings revealed better performance via smaller Stroop and facilitation effects in the Midwest than in SoCal, and no group difference on the inhibition effect. We conclude that research on the cognitive consequences of bilingualism must consider a continuum of language experiences and must be situated in broader naturalistic contexts that take into account the sociolinguistic environments of language use.
... Codeswitching is often described as the hallmark of bilingualism, yet remains relatively understudied with respect to how language and attentional control processes are engaged 11,12 . Language switching within artificial paradigms (e.g., tasks in which bilinguals are asked to switch between languages in response to exogeneous cues such as a color displayed on a computer screen 13 ) have been shown to engage conflict monitoring brain regions such as the prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices [14][15][16] ; conversely and critically, naturalistic codeswitching does not recruit these areas 6 nor does it seem to have a strong association to a particular domain-general control strategy [17][18][19][20] . Notwithstanding, if codeswitching contexts involve a cooperative as opposed to a competitive relation between the two languages, then one possibility is that differences in codeswitching experience may modulate the way bilinguals engage attentional control during language processing. ...
... Specifically, we make use of the elevator counting with reversal subset of the Test of Everyday Attention 43 (TEA), an ecological measure of auditory attentional control while also paying close attention to the community context of language use. As alluded to earlier, we propose that the way in which bilinguals draw on attentional resources associated with language control will depend on bilinguals' habits of language use and the control demands of their interactional context 9,10,17,21 . To this end, we focus on Spanish-English bilinguals from Puerto Rico, a predominantly Spanish-speaking environment but where English is loosely supported with little-to-no interactional cost and where codeswitching is very common 12,17,44 . ...
... As alluded to earlier, we propose that the way in which bilinguals draw on attentional resources associated with language control will depend on bilinguals' habits of language use and the control demands of their interactional context 9,10,17,21 . To this end, we focus on Spanish-English bilinguals from Puerto Rico, a predominantly Spanish-speaking environment but where English is loosely supported with little-to-no interactional cost and where codeswitching is very common 12,17,44 . Codeswitching experience sits on a continuum that is influenced by conventionalized communicative norms 12,21,45,46 but also varies according to sociodemographic and individual characteristics 47 . ...
Article
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Language processing is cognitively demanding, requiring attentional resources to efficiently select and extract linguistic information as utterances unfold. Previous research has associated changes in pupil size with increased attentional effort. However, it is unknown whether the behavioral ecology of speakers may differentially affect engagement of attentional resources involved in conversation. For bilinguals, such an act potentially involves competing signals in more than one language and how this competition arises may differ across communicative contexts. We examined changes in pupil size during the comprehension of unilingual and codeswitched speech in a richly-characterized bilingual sample. In a visual-world task, participants saw pairs of objects as they heard instructions to select a target image. Instructions were either unilingual or codeswitched from one language to the other. We found that only bilinguals who use each of their languages in separate communicative contexts and who have high attention ability, show differential attention to unilingual and codeswitched speech. Bilinguals for whom codeswitching is common practice process unilingual and codeswitched speech similarly, regardless of attentional skill. Taken together, these results suggest that bilinguals recruit different language control strategies for distinct communicative purposes. The interactional context of language use critically determines attentional control engagement during language processing.
... One example are studies that examine the effect of bilingualism on theory of mind. Past research has highlighted that bilinguals outperform monolinguals in tasks of theory of mind largely due to differences in metalinguistic ability [11,12]. Specifically, bilinguals tend to present advantages in metalinguistic performance from a young age due to their experience interpreting and manipulating different languages in different social situations. ...
... In a dense code-switching environment, instead, there will be adaptation involving neural regions necessary to mediate the late retrieval and activation of both languages at the same time. This adaptive model has been validated by other recent studies that have demonstrated how differential interactional contexts and environments shape bilingual executive functions' recruitment [12,13]. Taking this broader variability perspective, an increasing number of studies have now examined the effects of individual differences in bilingual experience on a number of cognitive abilities, including different aspects of executive functions, such as reading comprehension, and mentalizing [10,[14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23]. ...
... Even though recent research has started to address differences in linguistic contexts and their differential demands on neurocognitive adaptation [12,13], one especially relevant source of variability that has been largely overlooked in bilingualism research is the social context and varying functional demands of language use (e.g., see [6]), which is often studied in areas like sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology. For example, young Spanish-English bilinguals living in a predominantly Puerto Rican neighborhood in New York City not only used Spanish and English differentially with different people (e.g., Spanish with parents, English with siblings), but the content and context of the conversation also constrained their language choice (e.g., they sometimes used English with parents to discuss work and school). ...
Article
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An increasing amount of research has examined the effects of bilingualism on performance in theory of mind (ToM) tasks. Bilinguals outperform monolinguals in ToM when comparing groups. However, it is unclear what aspects of the bilingual experience contribute to this effect in a dynamic construct like ToM. To date, bilingualism has been conceptualized as a dichotic skill that is distinct from monolingualism, obscuring nuances in the degree that different bilingual experience affects cognition. The current study used a combination of network science, cognitive, and linguistic behavioral measurements to explore the factors that influence perspective-taking ToM based on participants’ current and previous experience with language, as well as their family networks’ experience with language. The results suggest that some aspects of the bilingual experience predict task performance, but not others, and these predictors align with the two-system theory of ToM. Overall, the findings provide evidence for the extent to which individual differences in bilingualism are related to different cognitive outcomes.
... Because of the cognitive demands associated with different interactional language contexts, the impact of multilingualism on individual speakers will depend on their linguistic experiences (Beatty-Martínez et al., 2020;Ooi et al., 2018;Pot et al., 2018). Moreover, some multilinguals will experience only one such context in daily life, while others will do so in a variety of these contexts, obviating simple correspondences between multilingual experience and cognitive outcome. ...
... Previous studies investigating the effect of context on bilingual performance have used two approaches: (1) compare participants from contextually different environments or (2) induce changes in language contexts within an experimental task. For the first approach, contexts of language use in daily life have shown to differentially influence performance in cognitive tasks (Beatty-Martínez et al., 2020;Gullifer et al., 2018;Ooi et al., 2018;Pot et al., 2018;see Kroll et al., 2018, for review). For example, bilinguals who used their languages in a dual-language context had smaller switch costs on a task-switching-paradigm than bilinguals who used their languages in a single-language context . ...
... Finally, it is possible that differences in the way the two languages were used by the bilingual participants in the Wu and Thierry (2013) study and the current study reflect different patterns of language use by these groups. The specific experiences in interactional contexts and the cognitive demands inherent in these contexts have been shown to modulate the cognitive impact of using multiple languages in daily life (e.g., Beatty-Martínez et al., 2020;Pot et al., 2018). Wu and Thierry (2013) indicated that their participants used Welsh and English on a daily basis both at home and at university, so according to the Adaptive Control Hypothesis (Green & Abutalebi, 2013), they would be considered dual-language context bilinguals. ...
Article
Some previous studies have shown that creating a language context in which words from both languages are interspersed into a flanker task improves executive control performance for bilinguals, but these studies have produced inconsistent results. The studies have used different versions of the task and not included monolinguals, limiting generalization. Here, English-Chinese multilinguals and English monolinguals performed a flanker task while EEG was recorded. There were three language context blocks-English, Chinese, or both-and participants were instructed to ignore the interspersed words. Multilinguals displayed faster flanker RTs and earlier P2 and N2 waveforms than monolinguals. There was also a significant correlation between the P2/N2 latency and reaction times, connecting these waveforms to behavior. Finally, P2 amplitude differed between groups in the mixed context, and language context impacted P3 amplitude for monolinguals but not multilinguals. These results are interpreted in terms of language context effects on monolingual executive function processing and possible difference in bilingual experience between current participants and those in previous studies.
... There are only a few studies that have focused on how variation in everyday language-use habits differentiates bilinguals in terms of their inhibitory skills (Hartanto & Yang, 2020;Kałamała, Szewczyk, Chuderski, Senderecka & Wodniecka, 2020b;Pot, Keijzer & de Bot, 2018; see also Beatty-Martínez, Navarro-Torres, Dussias, Bajo, Guzzardo Tamargo & Kroll, 2019;Gullifer, Chai, Whitford, Pivneva, Baum, Klein & Titone, 2018;Henrard & Van Daele, 2017;Ooi, Goh, Sorace & Bak, 2018). Pot and colleagues (2018) found that greater self-assessed diversity in language use across social contexts (an SL context in this paper) is related to a smaller flanker effect in RTs. ...
... However, it is not clear to what extent individuals are able to adequately self-assess their language-use patterns, and studies usually do not report psychometric properties for measures derived from self-reports (for an exception, see Kałamała et al., 2020b). Secondly, even if bilinguals' patterns of language use are adequately assessed, individuals experiencing the same patterns can still differ in other aspects of bilingualism, such as language proficiency (for arguments, see Beatty-Martínez et al., 2019;de Bruin, 2019). Therefore, it is possible that the demands imposed by a pattern of language use could interact with other aspects of bilingualism, and these interactions may confound the measurement of pattern-specific effects (DeLuca, 2019;DeLuca, Rothman, Bialystok & Pliatsikas, 2019;Gullifer et al., 2018;Pliatsikas et al., 2020). ...
... Evidence on how patterns of language use shape inhibition comes from studies that assessed everyday habits of language use (e.g., Beatty-Martínez et al., 2019;Kałamała et al., 2020b) and studies that experimentally manipulated language experience (e.g., Liu et al., 2019;Wu & Thierry, 2013;Zhang et al., 2015). However, the lifelong experience of bilingualism can be challenging to measure, and the low ecological validity of language-production tasks complicates inferences about how patterns of language use shape cognitive control. ...
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This study investigated how natural language use influences inhibition in language-unbalanced bilinguals. We experimentally induced natural patterns of language use (as proposed by the Adaptive Control Hypothesis) and assessed their cognitive after-effects in a group of 32 Polish–English bilinguals. Each participant took part in a series of three language games involving real conversation. Each game was followed by two inhibition tasks (stop-signal task and Stroop task). The manipulation of language use in the form of language games did not affect the behavioural measures, but it did affect ERPs. Performance of the inhibition tasks was accompanied by a reduction of P3 and the N450 amplitude differences after games involving the use of L2. The ERP modulations suggest that for bilinguals living in an L1 context the use of L2 enhances neural mechanisms related to inhibition. The study provides the first evidence for a direct influence of natural language use on inhibition.
... Clearly, the conceptions of lingualism categories are not as bounded as have been previously assumed (for a review see Surrain & Luk, 2019). We have shown that self-descriptions of lingualism status in one context can appear similar, thereby providing further evidence illustrating how heterogeneous language groups are, even if people identify themselves under the same linguistic label (also see Beatty-Martínez et al., 2020;Bice & Kroll, 2019;de Bruin, 2019). Accordingly, the more linguistic information we can attain from an individual, the better scope we will have at making some group classifications. ...
... In England, however, it is less common, where it mainly, if at all, occurs within immigrant or heritage communities (Promprakai, 2018). Furthermore, attitudes and communitybased norms facilitating (or impeding) codeswitching are also important to consider (Beatty-Martínez et al., 2020). In multilingual societies, speakers' intentions to codeswitch may therefore be driven by pragmatic and interactional opportunities irrespective of one's lingualism status. ...
Article
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Individual reports of language history, use, and proficiency are generally considered sufficient for language profiling. Yet, these variables alone neglect the contribution of contextual linguistic diversity to one’s overall language repertoire. In this study we used the Contextual Linguistic Profile Questionnaire to evaluate whether there is a difference in contextual linguistic diversity between participants across the linguistically dissimilar contexts of South Africa and England. We further assessed whether self-reported lingualism status groups (monolinguals, bilinguals, multilinguals) scored differently on contextual linguistic diversity to evaluate the utility and uniformity of categorical labels across varying contexts, and investigated how codeswitching and socio-economic status contributed to these effects. Our results demonstrated that contextual linguistic diversity differs between nations: South Africans score higher, promotion of multilingualism is dependent on socio-economic status only in England, lingualism status is not contextually comparable when measured categorically, and codeswitching accounts for linguistic features of South Africans.
... For bilinguals in Puerto Rico, where interactional costs are minimized, no patterns of association emerged. Finally, for bilinguals in Pennsylvania, Beatty-Martínez et al. (2019) found increased reliance on proactive control that related to better production performance, consistent with the need to actively monitor the environment for opportunities to speak Spanish (i.e., context-specific language use). These different patterns of association between language experience and executive control suggest that the demands of one's sociocultural environment cannot be discounted, consistent with work from other groups comparing interactional contexts and language-related cognitive control among bilinguals (e.g., Beatty-Martínez & Titone, 2021;Hartanto & Yang, 2016;Ooi, Goh, Sorace & Bak, 2018;Pot, Keijzer & De Bot, 2018;Zhang, Diaz, Guo & Kroll, under review). ...
... These include researchers with neurocognitive expertise who wish to better incorporate sociolinguistic and sociocultural theories in their work, researchers within socio-linguistic or sociocultural traditions who wish to better illuminate how their findings link to neurocognition, and applied scientists or policy makers who wish for an enriched evidence base to make datadriven decisions about social policy across a variety of real-world settings. To this end, we stand reverentially on the shoulders of historical figures in the cognitive and neural sciences like Marr (1982), who outlined a new way of framing our approaches to understanding complex cognition, and historical language science (s)heroes such as Grosjean, Bates, and many others within bilingualism who repeatedly nudged us to consider the social context of language and bilingualism (Anderson et al., 2018;Beatty-Martínez et al., 2019;Green, 2011;Green & Abutalebi, 2013;Kroll, Dussias, Bice & Perrotti, 2015;Kroll, Takahesu Tabori & Navarro-Torres, in press;López et al., 2021;Luk & Esposito, 2020;Ortega, 2020;Pliatsikas, DeLuca & Voits, 2020;Surrain & Luk, 2019, under review;Vaid & Meuter, 2017). We hope that the Systems Framework of Bilingualism offered here, while preliminary and not perfect, can help us all think more concretely and pragmatically about how to pose and answer psycholinguistic questions about language that are inclusive to diverse sociocultural realities. ...
Article
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In “The Devil's Dictionary”, Bierce (1911) defined language as “The music with which we charm the serpents guarding another's treasure.” This satirical definition reflects a core truth – humans communicate using language to accomplish social goals. In this Keynote, we urge cognitive scientists and neuroscientists to more fully embrace sociolinguistic and sociocultural experiences as part of their theoretical and empirical purview. To this end, we review theoretical antecedents of such approaches, and offer a new framework – the Systems Framework of Bilingualism – that we hope will be useful in this regard. We conclude with new questions to nudge our discipline towards a more nuanced, inclusive, and socially-informed scientific understanding of multilingual experience. We hope to engage a wide array of researchers united under the broad umbrella of multilingualism (e.g., researchers in neurocognition, sociolinguistics, and applied scientists).
... Such an effect would be consistent with prior work indicating that greater experience in dual-language contexts and more frequent language-switching facilitates the ability to suppress irrelevant goals when switching tasks (i.e., task-set reconfiguration, Gullifer et al., 2018;Hartanto & Yang, 2016). Similarly, the reduced competition in the semantic-word condition with greater dual-language proficiency and acquisition could reflect an enhanced ability to suppress task-irrelevant information (in this case, semantic features), which would be largely consistent with previous findings that higher bilingual proficiency and earlier bilingual acquisition can enhance reactive inhibitory control (e. g., such as in AX-CPT (Beatty-Martínez et al., 2020;Gullifer et al., 2018), Simon (Kousaie et al., 2017) and Flanker tasks (Chung-Fat-Yim et al., 2020;Luk, De Sa, & Bialystok, 2011)). ...
... Beatty-Martínez et al., 2020;Chung-Fat-Yim, Sorge, & Bialystok, 2020;Hartanto & Yang, 2016), behavior(Beatty-Martínez & Dussias, 2017;Tiv, Gullifer, Feng, & Titone, 2020), and the brain (DeLuca, Rothman,Bialystok, & Pliatsikas, 2019;Gullifer et al., 2018;Pliatsikas, DeLuca, Moschopoulou, & Saddy, 2017;Sulpizio, Del Maschio, Del Mauro, Fedeli, & Abutalebi, 2019). ...
Article
How we remember the things that we see can be shaped by our prior experiences. Here, we examine how linguistic and sensory experiences interact to influence visual memory. Objects in a visual search that shared phonology (cat-cast) or semantics (dog-fox) with a target were later remembered better than unrelated items. Phonological overlap had a greater influence on memory when targets were cued by spoken words, while semantic overlap had a greater effect when targets were cued by characteristic sounds. The influence of overlap on memory varied as a function of individual differences in language experience -- greater bilingual experience was associated with decreased impact of overlap on memory. We conclude that phonological and semantic features of objects influence memory differently depending on individual differences in language experience, guiding not only what we initially look at, but also what we later remember.
... However, overall, our data supports conceptual frameworks suggesting that different bilingual experiences are associated with differences in the engagement of cognitive control strategies (Beatty-Martínez et al., 2020;De Bruin, 2019;DeLuca et al., 2020;Green & Abutalebi, 2013). For example, according to the Unifying the Bilingual Experience Trajectories (UBET) framework proposed by DeLuca et al. (2020) efficient language control may depend on the relative proficiency and duration of the bilingual experience. ...
... These results were attributed to their different language experiences (Green & Abutalebi, 2013). These new insights enhance our understanding of executive control processes in bilinguals and indicate that factors such as the age of L2 acquisition or linguistic context could be modulators of these cognitive differences (Beatty-Martínez et al., 2020;De Bruin, 2019). ...
Article
Prospective memory (PM) allows us to form intentions and execute them in the future. Successful retrieval of prospective intentions depends on adequate context monitoring and disengagement from the ongoing task. These processes are also central in predicting incoming language information and guiding language production in bilinguals. We investigated if different bilingual experiences (early/late bilinguals, monolinguals) modulate performance in PM tasks that varied in attentional requirements (focal vs. non-focal). Behavioural and event-related potential (ERP) results indicated that early bilinguals differed from late bilinguals and monolinguals in how they performed the prospective task. Specifically, they showed larger differences between the ongoing activity and the prospective task in the N300 and P3b components when performing the more difficult non-focal PM task, indicating that they engaged in monitoring/updating to adapt to the task’s demands. These differences were not observed in late bilinguals and monolinguals, suggesting that prospective processing is dependent on the bilingual experience.
... Converging evidence indicates that bilinguals manage such demands in part by drawing from domain-general control processes (e.g. Abutalebi et al., 2008;Baum & Titone, 2014;Beatty-Martínez et al., 2020;Linck et al., 2008;Pivneva et al., 2012). Thus, an important source of variability in bilingual speakers may lie in their ability to manage the accessibility of their two languages. ...
... These patterns of performance indicate that when bilinguals speak in the weaker language, they actively down-regulate the dominant L1 (Green, 1998;Kroll et al., 2008), making it momentarily less accessible. Shifts in L1 accessibility can often occur when bilinguals engage in diverse interactional contexts where some individuals only use one language or where there is restricted use of the L1 (Baus et al., 2013;Beatty-Martínez et al., 2020;Beatty-Martínez & Titone, 2021;Linck et al., 2009). Thus, for bilinguals to effectively communicate in one language at any given point, regulation of the dominant language seems crucial. ...
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What we say generally follows distributional regularities, such as learning to avoid "the asleep dog" because we hear "the dog that's asleep" in its place. However, not everyone follows such regularities. We report data on English monolinguals and Spanish-English bilinguals to examine how working memory mediates variation in a-adjective usage (asleep, afraid), which, unlike typical adjectives (sleepy, frightened), tend to resist attributive use. We replicate previous work documenting this tendency in a sentence production task. Critically, for all speakers, the tendency to use a-adjectives attributively or non-attributively was modulated by individual differences in working memory. But for bilinguals, a-adjective use was additionally modulated by an interaction between working memory and category fluency in the dominant language (English), revealing an interactive role of domain-general and language-related mechanisms that enable regulation of competing (i.e. attributive and non-attributive) alternatives. These results show how bilingualism reveals fundamental variation in language use, memory, and attention.
... The pattern of results obtained for translators was unexpected since we predicted that professional translators would show more automatic patterns than monolinguals and untrained bilinguals. Differences in bilingual experiences have been proposed as one of the reasons that might contribute to differential findings across studies (e.g., Beatty-Martínez et al., 2019;Green & Abutalebi, 2013, Fricke et al., 2019; but see Valiant & Valiant, 2014, for other possible reasons). For example, some studies reported that bilinguals who continuously switch between their languages are more efficient in non-verbal switching tasks compared to bilinguals who do not switch very often (e.g., Prior & Gollan, 2011). ...
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It has been observed that different linguistic experiences might exert a differential effect on general cognitive processes. For example, research has shown that language control in professional translation differs from language control applied to other types of bilingual activities. The present study focuses on the construct of automaticity and aims at determining whether different linguistic experiences might modulate the balance between automaticity and cognitive control at the general cognitive level. Hence, monolinguals, bilinguals, and professional translators performed a memory search task that has extensively been employed to observe how automaticity is acquired through consistent practice. Comparisons between the groups showed overall differences in the ease with which the task was performed and, importantly, differences in both automaticity and cognitive control. Specifically, monolinguals showed higher levels of automaticity in the learning phase of the task, while bilinguals and professional translations carried out the task in a more controlled fashion. This pattern might have implied higher cognitive costs for the monolingual group when a switched learning condition was presented. Possibly due to previous control over the initial learning phase, bilinguals and translators were less affected by the cognitive costs associated to the reversal of the learning condition. Differences are explained in terms of professional translation and everyday bilingual practice. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).
... While total fluency score is often used to estimate executive functioning and lexical access ability (Amunts et al., 2020;Beatty-Martínez et al., 2020), performance may be affected by various factors. First, lexical characteristics of words produced during the task may be correlated with performance; higher scores have been associated with word production of lower frequency and higher AoA (e.g., Forbes-Mckay et al., 2005;Venneri et al., 2008). ...
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The letter-guided naming fluency task is a measure of an individual's executive function and working memory. This study employed a novel, automated, quantifiable, and reproducible method to investigate how language characteristics of words produced during a fluency task are related to fluency performance, inter-word response time (RT), and over task duration using digitized F-letter-guided fluency recordings produced by 76 young healthy participants. Our automated algorithm counted the number of correct responses from the transcripts of the F-letter fluency data, and individual words were rated for concreteness, ambiguity, frequency, familiarity, and age of acquisition (AoA). Using a forced aligner, the transcripts were automatically aligned with the corresponding audio recordings. We measured inter-word RT, word duration, and word start time from the forced alignments. Articulation rate was also computed. Phonetic and semantic distances between two consecutive F-letter words were measured. We found that total F-letter score was significantly correlated with the mean values of word frequency, familiarity, AoA, word duration, phonetic similarity, and articulation rate; total score was also correlated with an individual's standard deviation of AoA, familiarity, and phonetic similarity. RT was negatively correlated with frequency and ambiguity of F-letter words and was positively correlated with AoA, number of phonemes, and phonetic and semantic distances. Lastly, the frequency, ambiguity, AoA, number of phonemes, and semantic distance of words produced significantly changed over time during the task. The method employed in this paper demonstrates the successful implementation of our automated language processing pipelines in a standardized neuropsychological task. This novel approach captures subtle and rich language characteristics during test performance that enhance informativeness and cannot be extracted manually without massive effort. This work will serve as the reference for letter-guided category fluency production similarly acquired in neurodegenerative patients.
... will replicate across different bilingual communities. At the same time, however, we anticipate that the specific relationships between the variables observed in the network model may differ between bilingual communities embedded in different language contexts (for arguments, see e.g.,Beatty-Martínez et al., 2020;Xie & Antolovic, 2021;Zhang et al., 2021). Here we present the network model for relatively young adult language-unbalanced bilinguals who are mostly embedded in the L1 environment, all of whom reported regular contact with L1. ...
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The growing importance of research on bilingualism in psychology and neuroscience motivates the need for a unified approach to understanding and quantifying this phenomenon. This study aimed to establish the first psychometric model of bilingualism. To this end, we re-analyzed two datasets (N = 171 and N = 112) from Polish-English bilinguals who completed a battery of questionnaires and tasks probing language experience. We asked whether bilingualism is best described by the factor structure (generalizable dimensions of bilingualism that are potentially explained by a higher-order construct) or by the network structure (direct and low-level dependencies between language skills and language-use practices which leads to the emergence of bilingualism). The factor and network structures were established on one dataset and then validated on the other dataset in a fully confirmatory manner. The network model provided the best fit to the data. Further network analyses showed that some indices demonstrated relatively stronger connections within the network than others. Yet, there was no central index that would explain most of the variability in bilingual experience. The results imply that bilingualism should be conceptualized as an emergent network of low-level and idiosyncratic dependencies between diverse language skills, the history of language acquisition, and language-use practices. These dependencies can be reduced to neither a single universal quotient nor to some more general factors. Overall, an indisputable advantage of the network model over the factor approach indicates the great potential of network modeling to gain a more accurate description and understanding of complex cognitive phenomena.
... Each homonym trial was either coded as 1, when participants reported knowing both meanings of the homonym prime, or as 0, when participants stated knowing only one or none of the meanings. Reaction times higher or lower than 2.5 SD from the mean were removed for each participant (Beatty-Martínez et al., 2020). Homonym trials were removed if participants knew only one, or none of the meanings (1,293 trials out of 14,336). ...
Article
Purpose This study investigated the influence of L1 co-activation and meaning frequency of homonyms on L2 lexical access of Brazilian Portuguese–English bilinguals during an L2 meaning decision task. Design Eighty-four university students completed a meaning decision task—with cognate homonyms—a meaning recognition task, a Language History Questionnaire, and an L2 proficiency test. The meaning decision task was composed of 128 prime words followed by one out of three possible targets: related to the dominant meaning, related to the subordinate one, or unrelated. Independent variables were cognate status (64 cognate × 64 non-cognate words), homonym status (64 homonym × 64 non-homonyms), prime-sharedness (16 dominant meaning shared words × 16 subordinate meaning shared words), and target-relatedness (64 related to dominant meaning × 64 related to subordinate meaning × 64 unrelated words). Dependent variables were reaction times and accuracy. Data and analysis Data were analyzed using linear mixed effect models in R. Findings Results showed that, in this sample of bilinguals, processing of target words related to the meaning of the prime was confounded when primes were homonyms. In general, this interference was not decreased by the co-activation of cognate words across languages. Accuracy scores benefited from cognate status only when no ambiguity was present. Word processing was faster and more accurate when target words were related to the dominant meaning of the homonym prime, which shared this same meaning across languages. Originality L1 co-activation via cognate words was not enough to decrease homonym interference effect in L2 word processing. Implications This study lends support for a non-selective bilingual lexical access view and for frequency approaches during L2 word recognition. It also indicates limitations of the cognate facilitation effect.
... A recent review of false memories in the bilingual Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM)paradigm by Suarez and Beato (2021), also found that false memories are greater in participants with higher proficiency compared to the ones with lower levels and do not differ when the command of the participants in both the languages is similar. Importantly, the authors propose that it is not proficiency per se but rather dominance and environmental and interactional context that plays a major role in such differences (Beatty-Martínez et al., 2020;Suarez and Beato, 2021). ...
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Human memory is prone to memory errors and distortion. Evidence from studies on cognitive functions in bilinguals indicates that they might be prone to different types of memory errors compared to monolinguals; however, the effect of language in false memories is still understudied. Source monitoring processes required for proper memory functioning, presumably, rely on inhibitory control, which is also heavily utilized by bilinguals. Moreover, it is suggested that thinking in a second language leads to more systematic and deliberate reasoning. All these results lead to expect that bilinguals are more analytical when processing information in their second language overcoming some memory errors depending on the language of information. To test this hypothesis, we run a classical misinformation experiment with an explicit source monitoring task with a sample of Russian–English bilinguals. The language of the misinformation presentation did not affect the degree of the misinformation effect between the Russian and English languages. Source monitoring demonstrated an overall higher accuracy for attributions to the English source over the Russian source. Furthermore, analysis on incorrect source attributions showed that when participants misattributed the sources of false information (English or Russian narrative), they favored the Russian source over the not presented condition. Taken together, these results imply that high proficiency in the second language does not affect misinformation and that information processing and memory monitoring in bilinguals can differ depending on the language of the information, which seems to lead to some memory errors and not others.
... This would require high monitoring skills to handle linguistic co-activation, but less inhibitory control, as both languages need to remain highly activated. The hypothesis central to the ACH that the dual-language context requires more inhibitory control than the dense code-switching context has been corroborated by several psycholinguistic studies (Beatty-Martínez et al., 2019. However, the ACH does not differentiate between different types of intrasentential code-switching occurring within the dense code-switching context, which themselves may rely on inhibitory control processes to different degrees. ...
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Bilingualism impacts brain structure, especially in regions involved in language control and processing. However, the relation between structural brain changes and key aspects of bilingual language use is still poorly understood. Here we used structural MRI and non-linear modelling to investigate the effects of habitual code-switching (CS) practices on brain structure among Czech-English bilinguals. We studied the effects of usage frequency of various CS types (categorised by directionality and level of language separation) on the volumes of the caudate nucleus and the thalamus. Caudate volumes were positively correlated with overall CS frequency, with stronger effects for switches from L1 to L2. Thalamic volumes were positively correlated with engagement in forms of CS for which the two languages are more separate, with stronger effects for switching from L2 to L1. These results underscore the importance of using detailed measures of bilingual experiences when investigating the sources of bilingualism-induced neuroplasticity.
... If that is correct, in what ways would these control processes adapt? To explore this question, we turn to Beatty-Martínez et al. (2020b). ...
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A goal of early research on language processing was to characterize what is universal about language. Much of the past research focused on native speakers because the native language has been considered as providing privileged truths about acquisition, comprehension, and production. Populations or circumstances that deviated from these idealized norms were of interest but not regarded as essential to our understanding of language. In the past two decades, there has been a marked change in our understanding of how variation in language experience may inform the central and enduring questions about language. There is now evidence for significant plasticity in language learning beyond early childhood, and variation in language experience has been shown to influence both language learning and processing. In this paper, we feature what we take to be the most exciting recent new discoveries suggesting that variation in language experience provides a lens into the linguistic, cognitive, and neural mechanisms that enable language processing.
... This finding is compatible with the proposal that experience regulating the more dominant language, i.e., more time spent listening in the non-dominant language, hones the deployment of cognitive resources (e.g., Alladi et al., 2013). It also supports the argument that research examining relationships among bilingual language experience and cognitive function should move beyond static (i.e., proficiency-oriented) measures to focus more on dynamic measures of language experience (e.g., Beatty-Martínez et al., 2020). The question of which aspects of daily language experience may promote an improved ability to cope with informational masking should therefore be a topic of future research. ...
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Previous research has shown that as the level of background noise increases, auditory word recognition performance drops off more rapidly for bilinguals than monolinguals. This disproportionate bilingual deficit has often been attributed to a presumed increase in cross-language activation in noise, although no studies have specifically tested for such an increase. We propose two distinct mechanisms by which background noise could cause an increase in cross-language activation: a phonetically based account and an executive function-based account. We explore the evidence for the phonetically based account by comparing cognate facilitation effects for three groups of native English listeners (monolinguals, late (L2) learners of Spanish, and heritage Spanish speakers) and four noise conditions (no noise, speech-shaped noise, English two-talker babble, and Spanish two-talker babble) during an auditory lexical decision task in English. By examining word recognition in the dominant language, the role of language control mechanisms is minimized, and by examining three different types of competing noise, the role of energetic vs. informational masking can be assessed. Contrary to predictions, we find no evidence that background noise modulates cross-language activation; cognate facilitation is constant across the four noise conditions. Instead, several indices of word recognition performance are found to correlate with aspects of linguistic experience: (1) The magnitude of the cognate facilitation effect is correlated with heritage listeners’ self-ratings of Spanish proficiency; (2) Overall noise deficits are marginally larger for heritage listeners with lower English vocabulary scores; (3) Heritage listeners’ Spanish self-ratings predict their magnitude of informational masking; (4) For all bilinguals, the degree of masking incurred in both English and Spanish two-talker babble is correlated with self-reported daily exposure to Spanish; and (5) The degree of masking incurred by Spanish babble is correlated with Spanish vocabulary knowledge. The results enrich our understanding of auditory word recognition in heritage speakers in particular and provide evidence that informational masking is most subject to modulation due to variation in linguistic experience. It remains to be seen whether cross-language activation is modulated by noise when the target language is the less dominant one.
... Second, some research indicates that bilinguals' lifelong patterns of language use (in terms of interactional context) affect the interplay between the two languages of the speakers and the language control system (e.g., Green & Abutalebi, 2013). The Hebrew-English bilinguals tested in this study tended to use each language in separated life contexts with few instances of language switching (Beatty-Martínez et al., 2020). It is thus unknown whether the LOI effect observed here would manifest similarly in other bilingual populations that differ in interactional domains of language use. ...
Article
When learning novel vocabulary in a third language (L3) through translations in the first language (L1), bilinguals may have more available cognitive resources and more accumulated experience in language regulation compared to when learning through translations in the second language (L2). In a study designed to test language of instruction (LOI) effects, 59 Hebrew–English bilinguals auditorily learned over two sessions 55 words in German, including three word types: cognates, overlapping in form and meaning between English and German; false cognates, overlapping in form but not meaning; and controls. Critically, half of the participants learned through their (dominant) L1 Hebrew, and half through their L2 English (which is also more similar to German). Results showed a significant LOI effect, with better learning through the (less similar) L1, especially for control items. Cognates were learned better in both LOIs, but false cognates were learned better relative to controls to a greater extent when the LOI was English. Together, results highlight the importance of LOI and item‐based language similarity during multilingual novel word‐learning.
... De Bruin, Samuel, and Duñabeitia 2018), as well as by differences in language use between bilingual groups (e.g. Beatty-Martínez et al. 2020). Furthermore, much research has focused on assessing if and how language experiences such as language use can modulate (non-linguistic) cognitive control. ...
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Bilingualism is a multi-faceted experience and bilinguals differ in how they use their languages in daily life. Therefore, assessments of bilingualism that consider the role of (social) context are needed when describing bilinguals. In this study, we evaluated how (reliably) the Language and Social Background Questionnaire (LSBQ; Anderson et al. 2018) describes language experiences of bilinguals living in the UK. Across 163 participants, nine factors were found to describe their daily-life language experiences in different contexts or with different interlocutors. Factors describing language use also correlated with objective English (L2) proficiency. These findings emphasise the need for studies to characterise bilinguals’ daily-life language use in more detail and with a focus on the multi-dimensionality of bilingualism. Test-retest reliability (assessed across two weeks) was moderate to substantial, showing that the LSBQ might be a reliable tool to capture these bilingual experiences.
... Bilingual experience is not static or uniform across individuals (Bak, 2016;Leivada et al., 2021;Luk and Bialystok, 2013) and this has implications for neurocognitive outcomes. In younger populations, a growing body of research shows that individual bilingual experiences correlate to distinct neurocognitive outcomes (Beatty-Martínez et al., 2020;DeLuca et al., 2019;Fedeli et al., 2021;Gullifer et al., 2018;Navarro-Torres et al., 2021;Sulpizio et al., 2020). Two key trends can be seen from this literature. ...
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Bilingualism has been associated with increases in compensatory mechanisms to age-related neurocognitive decline thus delaying dementia symptom onset and leading to a more favorable trajectory of neurocognitive aging. However, most research to date has examined bilingualism-induced effects on neurocognition within older age ranges or young adults– with middle-aged individuals typically not being a population of interest. Furthermore, bilingualism is often treated as a dichotomous variable, despite it being a heterogeneous experience on an individual level. In the present study we employed diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to examine whether bilingualism, and the degree of engagement in bilingual experience, modulates the nature or rate of white matter decline associated with aging. DTI data and language history data were collected from a cohort of monolingual and bilingual individuals spanning a wide age range. Two separate analyses were run. First, generalized additive models were run on matched monolingual and bilingual samples, examining effects of age on the trajectory of white matter integrity and how bilingualism modulates this effect. This analysis revealed a significant effect of age within the monolingual group for fractional anisotropy values in the right superior longitudinal fasciculus. However, the age effect within the bilingual group was not significant, indicating a faster decline in white matter integrity within the monolingual cohort. Second, general linear models were run on the entire participant sample, examining an interaction between age and degree of bilingual engagement on white matter integrity. Results from this analysis indicate that increased engagement in bilingual language use across the lifespan correlates with a slower decline in white matter integrity with age. Together these results indicate bilingualism, and specifically degree of bilingual engagement, impacts the trajectory of age-related decline in white matter integrity across the lifespan.
... As per the findings revealed, we deduce that using codeswitching can be a worthwhile approach to be used in bilingual classrooms. In the same vein, we propose taking into cognizance that codeswitching variances not only influence language capabilities, however, have also been observed to intercede in between some aspects of intellect and language (Kroff et al., 2018;Beatty-Martínez et al., 2019). Argued below are the themes that emerged: professional development logistics, policy-making, and limited interaction in the English language as a teaching and learning medium. ...
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This paper explores how code-switching can be meaningfully used as an empowerment approach towards improving learners’ performance in the English language. In cultures with people using more than one language for communication, code-switching exists. Bilinguals as speakers of many languages, code-switch, using their languages resourcefully at conveying meaning in a variety of ways. Code-switching occurs every day during teaching and learning as most subjects in the curriculum are offered in the English language. Teaching and learning the English language in South Africa is characterized by serious challenges because the government is advocating for use of home languages for all subjects of lower grades in primary schools. However, teachers still encounter challenges when using English as a medium of instruction in preceding grades because learners fail to comprehend challenging concepts and terminologies presented to them in a language besides their home language. This qualitative study revealed that using code-switching can be a worthwhile approach for use in bilingual classrooms. A possible recommendation is that English language teachers should utilize code-switching as an approach to assist language development as learners in schools investigated emanate from diverse cultures, underpinned by different linguistic backgrounds and linguistic constituencies.
... Empirical work looking at the influence of interactional contexts on executive control has, for instance, found that Spanish-English bilinguals who reside in contexts in which languages are used separately (i.e., an SLC) showed greater reliance on reactive control, whereas bilinguals residing in contexts in which languages are used interchangeably (i.e., both in dual-language and dense code-switching contexts) mostly adopted proactive control strategies (Beatty-Martínez et al., 2020). Similarly, Hartanto and Yang (2016) classified bilinguals into SLC bilinguals and DLC bilinguals and found that DLC bilinguals showed lower switching costs than SLC bilinguals. ...
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Introduction It has been proposed that bilinguals’ language use patterns are differentially associated with executive control. To further examine this, the present study relates the social diversity of bilingual language use to performance on a color-shape switching task (CSST) in a group of bilingual university students with diverse linguistic backgrounds. Crucially, this study used language entropy as a measure of bilinguals’ language use patterns. This continuous measure reflects a spectrum of language use in a variety of social contexts, ranging from compartmentalized use to fully integrated use. Methods Language entropy for university and non-university contexts was calculated from questionnaire data on language use. Reaction times (RTs) were measured to calculate global RT and switching and mixing costs on the CSST, representing conflict monitoring, mental set shifting, and goal maintenance, respectively. In addition, this study innovatively recorded a potentially more sensitive measure of set shifting abilities, namely, pupil size during task performance. Results Higher university entropy was related to slower global RT. Neither university entropy nor non-university entropy were associated with switching costs as manifested in RTs. However, bilinguals with more compartmentalized language use in non-university contexts showed a larger difference in pupil dilation for switch trials in comparison with non-switch trials. Mixing costs in RTs were reduced for bilinguals with higher diversity of language use in non-university contexts. No such effects were found for university entropy. Discussion These results point to the social diversity of bilinguals’ language use as being associated with executive control, but the direction of the effects may depend on social context (university vs. non-university). Importantly, the results also suggest that some of these effects may only be detected by using more sensitive measures, such as pupil dilation. The paper discusses theoretical and practical implications regarding the language entropy measure and the cognitive effects of bilingual experiences more generally, as well as how methodological choices can advance our understanding of these effects.
... As per the findings revealed, we deduce that using codeswitching can be a worthwhile approach to be used in bilingual classrooms. In the same vein, we propose taking into cognizance that codeswitching variances not only influence language capabilities, however, have also been observed to intercede in between some aspects of intellect and language (Kroff et al., 2018;Beatty-Martínez et al., 2019). Argued below are the themes that emerged: professional development logistics, policy-making, and limited interaction in the English language as a teaching and learning medium. ...
Conference Paper
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This paper explores how code-switching can be meaningfully used as an empowerment approach towards improving learners' performance in the English language. In cultures with people using more than one language for communication, code-switching exists. Bilinguals as speakers of many languages, code-switch, using their languages resourcefully at conveying meaning in a variety of ways. Code-switching occurs every day during teaching and learning as most subjects in the curriculum are offered in the English language. Teaching and learning the English language in South Africa is characterized by serious challenges because the government is advocating for use of home languages for all subjects of lower grades in primary schools. However, teachers still PUPIL: International Journal of Teaching, Education and Learning ISSN 2457-0648 16 encounter challenges when using English as a medium of instruction in preceding grades because learners fail to comprehend challenging concepts and terminologies presented to them in a language besides their home language. This qualitative study revealed that using code-switching can be a worthwhile approach for use in bilingual classrooms. A possible recommendation is that English language teachers should utilize code-switching as an approach to assist language development as learners in schools investigated emanate from diverse cultures, underpinned by different linguistic backgrounds and linguistic constituencies.
... Relatedly, language immersion has been highlighted as crucial for understanding when and how CLI is manifested (Kubota et al.; Meir and Janssen). Indeed, recent work highlights the relevance of patterns of language use as affecting multilingual performance (Gullifer et al., 2018;Beatty-Martínez et al., 2020) and more work is needed to understand their role in possibly modulating CLI. Additionally, we suggest that future work examine whether individual differences in executive control might also modulate the expression of CLI (Prior et al., 2017). ...
... It has long been observed in the bilingual cognition literature that L2, or non-dominant, language processes rely heavily on the ability to inhibit or regulate the L1, or dominant, language, which is understood to always be active in parallel (for further discussion, see Kroll andDussias 2013 andKroll et al. 2022). The ability to regulate the dominant L1 has also been demonstrated to support the generation of predictions in the L2 during reading (Zirnstein et al. 2018). ...
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Auditory word recognition in the non-dominant language has been suggested to break down under noisy conditions due, in part, to the difficulty of deriving a benefit from contextually constraining information. However, previous studies examining the effects of sentence constraints on word recognition in noise have conflated multiple psycholinguistic processes under the umbrella term of “predictability”. The present study improves on these by narrowing its focus specifically on prediction processes, and on whether the possibility of using semantic constraint to predict an upcoming target word improves word recognition in noise for different listener populations and noise conditions. We find that heritage, but not second language, Spanish listeners derive a word recognition-in-noise benefit from predictive processing, and that non-dominant language word recognition benefits more from predictive processing under conditions of energetic, rather than informational, masking. The latter suggests that managing interference from competing speech and generating predictions about an upcoming target word draw on the same cognitive resources. An analysis of individual differences shows that better inhibitory control ability is associated with reduced disruption from competing speech in the more dominant language in particular, revealing a critical role for executive function in simultaneously managing interference and generating expectations for upcoming words.
... As per the findings revealed, we deduce that using codeswitching can be a worthwhile approach to be used in bilingual classrooms. In the same vein, we propose taking into cognizance that codeswitching variances not only influence language capabilities, however, have also been observed to intercede in between some aspects of intellect and language (Kroff et al., 2018;Beatty-Martínez et al., 2019). Argued below are the themes that emerged: professional development logistics, policy-making, and limited interaction in the English language as a teaching and learning medium. ...
... The ACH is a framework to depict how various social environments may lead bilinguals to use different cognitive control strategies such as goal maintenance, conflict monitoring (registering several incompatible possible responses), interference suppression (ignoring less relevant but often more salient information or language), and response inhibition (see also reactive inhibition above). Highlighting the context of language learning fits the idea posited by usage-based approaches that specific socio-linguistic circumstances impact our habitual practices, which in turn impact also on our cognitive processes (Beatty-Martínez et al. 2019a;Beatty-Martínez & Dussias 2018;Backus 2020). The ACH distinguishes between three different interactional contexts: (i) the single-language context where only one language is used in one environment and another one in a distinct other environment; (ii) the dual-language context, in which both languages are used depending on the topics, situations or speakers, and where code-switching can occur, but usually only between sentences; and (iii) the dense codeswitching context, which refers to environments where bilinguals can alternate freely between languages and also mix them within one sentence. ...
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Bilingualism has been associated with changes in our language-related and domain-general cognition. However, it remains controversial whether bilingualism-related cognitive effects are robust and stable. Also, it is still unclear what about being bilingual causes the plasticity of cognitive processes. This article offers a selective overview of the literature on bilingualism and cognition. We will discuss results from studies which investigated sources of cognitive plasticity in bilinguals, using prominent bilingual factors. We argue that, at least in part, the field deals with the controversies by viewing bilingualism through the perspective of usage-based (or experience-based) approaches, albeit such a link is not always made explicitly. Viewing bilingual variables as indicators of language use and engagement with both languages might offer promising ways forward while allowing for comparisons of existing studies on bilingualism with more recent ones, which build on the usage-based perspective more explicitly.
... A growing consensus in the field notes that bilingual language experience should not be reduced to a dichotomous distinction of "monolingual vs. bilingual" (just like physical activity should not be dichotomized as only "active vs. sedentary"). Rather it ought to be treated as a spectrum of experiences, where factors within bilingualism (such as age of acquisition, patterns and psychosocial contexts of language use, engagement and disengagement with languages over time) play a role and lead to differential adaptations in the brain (Green and Abutalebi, 2013;DeLuca et al., 2019DeLuca et al., , 2020Beatty-Martínez et al., 2020;Pliatsikas, 2020;Gullifer et al., 2021). However, treating bilingualism as a continuous measure in research is relatively new in the field of bilingual neurocognition, and at present has only rarely been applied to aging. ...
Article
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The neurological notion of “reserve” arises from an individually observable dissociation between brain health and cognitive status. According to the cognitive reserve hypothesis, high-reserve individuals experience functional compensation for neural atrophy and, thus, are able to maintain relatively stable cognitive functioning with no or smaller-than-expected impairment. Several lifestyle factors such as regular physical exercise, adequate and balanced nutrition, and educational attainment have been widely reported to contribute to reserve and, thus, lead to more successful trajectories of cognitive aging (CA). In recent years, it has become clear that bilingualism is also a potential reserve contributor. Yet, there is little communication between the neuroscience of bilingualism research community and researchers working in the field of CA more generally, despite compelling reasons for it. In fact, bilingualism tends to be overlooked as a contributory factor in the CA literature, or reduced to a dichotomous trait, despite it being a complex experience. Herein, we discuss issues that are preventing recognition of bilingualism as a reserve contributor across all literatures, highlight the benefits of including language experiences as a factor of interest across research disciplines, and suggest a roadmap to better integrate bilingualism and aging moving forward. We close with calls toward a model of aging that examines the contributions across lifestyle factors, including that of bilingual experience.
... will replicate across different bilingual communities. At the same time, however, we anticipate that the specific relationships between the variables observed in the network model may differ between bilingual communities embedded in different language contexts (for arguments, see e.g.,Beatty-Martínez et al., 2020;Xie & Antolovic, 2021;Zhang et al., 2021). Here we present the network model for relatively young adult language-unbalanced bilinguals who are mostly embedded in the L1 environment, all of whom reported regular contact with L1. ...
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The relationship between bilingualism and cognitive control has been controversial. We believe that the discrepant findings are likely driven by the complexities of the bilingual experience, which is consistent with the Adaptive Control Hypothesis. The current study investigates whether the natural language immersion experience and the classroom intensive language training experience have differential impacts on cognitive control. Among unbalanced Chinese-English bilingual students, a natural L2 (second language) immersion group, an L2 public speaking training group, and a control bilingual group without immersion or training experience were compared on their cognitive control abilities, with the participants' demographic factors strictly controlled. The results showed that the L2 immersion group and the L2 speaking group had faster speed than the control group in the Flanker task, whereas the L2 immersion group had fewer errors than the other two groups in the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). These results generally provide evidence in favor of the Adaptive Control Hypothesis, specifying that natural L2 immersion and L2 public speaking training experiences are distinctively related to cognitive control. The current study is the first of its kind to link specific bilingual experiences (natural L2 immersion vs. intensive L2 public speaking) with different components of cognitive control.
Chapter
A large body of research has contributed to a complex picture in which bilingualism is generally associated with better performance on some cognitive tasks, particularly those that are based on executive functioning, but poorer performance on measures of verbal proficiency. However, not all studies find these effects, particularly the positive effects on cognitive function. What is now clear is that the potential impact of bilingualism on children’s cognition must be explained through multifaceted examinations of relevant factors and clarification of the specific language context from which the results emerged on an individual basis. We review the evidence for cognitive performance of children in multilingual environments and evaluate those results in terms of the type of cognitive ability being assessed and the type of environment children are experiencing. We also review how early the effects of multilingualism are detected, how long these effects last, and how childhood multilingualism can lead to brain plasticity. We conclude with a brief discussion of how multilingualism impacts other areas of cognitive functioning, such as theory of mind, creativity, and problem solving.
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How bilinguals’ experience in managing multiple languages in different communicative contexts influences the cognitive and neural aspects of executive functions remains unclear. Therefore, we examined whether variations in language experience in young adult bilinguals were associated with data-driven brain functional network patterns (connectivity and signal variability) defined by performance during executive control tasks (Stroop and task-switching). Multiple aspects of language experience, such as the extent of balanced bilingualism in language proficiency and usage, and language diversity across social contexts (i.e., language entropy) were assessed. We found that greater language diversity, rather than balanced bilingualism per se, was related to higher brain network specialization and segregation concentrated on the default mode and executive control networks, and lower signal variability, a pattern linked to smaller RT-indices related to executive functioning of shifting, goal-maintenance, and conflict-monitoring. Our findings underscore the important role of language diversity in influencing bilinguals’ neurocognitive characteristics of executive functioning.
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Bilingual language representation and cognitive control effects may reflect the dynamic interactions among the complex learning environment, genotype of the individual, and developing cognitive abilities. In this paper we propose a framework considering such interactions. Specifically, we present a nonlinear, developmentally-oriented perspective in which each individual represents a developmental trajectory in multidimensional space. These trajectories focus on the cognitive ecosystem (and how said ecosystem changes over time) and individual expertise (which affects and is affected by the ecosystem). The interactions between ecosystem and expertise lead to the emergence of a system that is built to handle the communicative needs of the individual.
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An important aim of research on bilingualism is to understand how the brain adapts to the demands of using more than one language. In this paper, we argue that pursuing such an aim entails valuing our research as a discovery process that acts on variety. Prescriptions about sample size and methodology, rightly aimed at establishing a sound basis for generalization, should be understood as being in the service of science as a discovery process. We propose and illustrate by drawing from previous and contemporary examples within brain and cognitive sciences, that this necessitates exploring the neural bases of bilingual phenotypes: the adaptive variety induced through the interplay of biology and culture. We identify the conceptual and methodological prerequisites for such exploration and briefly allude to the publication practices that afford it as a community practice and to the risk of allowing methodological prescriptions, rather than discovery, to dominate the research endeavor. "We have to remember that what we observe is not nature in itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning." Werner Heisenberg (1958)
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Although the question of whether and how bilingualism affects executive functions has been extensively debated, less attention has been paid to the cognitive abilities of speakers of different varieties of the same language, in linguistic situations such as bidialectalism and diglossia. Similarly to the bilingual situation, in bidialectalism and diglossia speakers have two language varieties that are active at the same time. However, these situations have been argued to potentially provide varied, and possibly fewer, opportunities for mixing or switching between the varieties, which may in turn lead to different cognitive outcomes than those reported in bilingualism. Here we review the available evidence on the effects of bidialectalism and diglossia on cognition, and evaluate it in relation to theories of the effects of bilingualism on cognition. We conclude that investigations of bilingualism, bidialectalism and diglossia must take into account the conversational context and, in particular, the opportunities for language switching that this affords.
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Increasing evidence suggests that bilingualism does not, in itself, result in a particular pattern of response, revealing instead a complex and multidimensional construct that is shaped by evolutionary and ecological sources of variability. Despite growing recognition of the need for a richer characterization of bilingual speakers and of the different contexts of language use, we understand relatively little about the boundary conditions of putative "bilingualism" effects. Here, we review recent findings that demonstrate how variability in the language experiences of bilingual speakers, and also in the ability of bilingual speakers to adapt to the distinct demands of different interactional contexts, impact interactions between language use, language processing, and cognitive control processes generally. Given these findings, our position is that systematic variation in bilingual language experience gives rise to a variety of phenotypes that have different patterns of associations across language processing and cognitive outcomes. The goal of this paper is thus to illustrate how focusing on systematic variation through the identification of bilingual phenotypes can provide crucial insights into a variety of performance patterns, in a manner that has implications for previous and future research.
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Variation in the language experience of bilinguals has consequences for cognitive and affective processes. In the current study, we examined how bilingual experience influences the relationship between language and emotion in English among a group of Spanish–English heritage bilinguals on an emotion–memory task. Participants rated the emotionality of English taboo, negative and neutral words and then completed an unexpected recognition test. To account for language experience, data were gathered on the participants’ language dominance and proficiency. Results showed emotion–memory effects in the Spanish–English heritage bilinguals’ English (the societal language): taboo words were recognized significantly better than neutral words, while the emotionality of negative words carried over and significantly affected the recognition of preceding neutral words. Furthermore, such effects were modulated by language dominance scores with more pronounced emotion–memory effects in more English-dominant bilinguals. The findings contribute to a growing body of evidence showing that emotions are not necessarily restricted to the first acquired home language. Critically, for heritage speakers, there is often a shift in language dominance from the home language to the societal language. The present study demonstrates that the effects of emotion on memory are seen in the acquired societal language.
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The relationship between executive functions (EF) and bilingualism has dominated debate in the field. This debate was characterised by optimism for a bilingual advantage until the last decade, when a steady stream of articles reported failure to find a consistently positive effect for bilingualism. In addition to addressing concerns about study quality, this turn of events has spurred research into other variables that may explain the conflicting findings. While recent studies have focused on sociodemographic variables and interactional contexts such as age, code-switching frequency, and socioeconomic class to account for various group and individual differences, the impact of culture is seldom scrutinised. This paper examines the possible effect of culture among bilingual studies on EF by first contextualising how bilingual EF are studied and outlining the absence of culture as a macro variable, followed by a discussion on how culture and language are often conflated. This paper directs attention to the small but emerging research that tracks the importance of culture as a separate variable from language. This review discusses why macro culture and individual monoculturalism or biculturalism need to be carefully elucidated as a factor that can interact with the bilingual experience in shaping EF.
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No two bilinguals are the same. Differences in bilingual experiences can affect language-related processes but have also been proposed to modulate executive functioning. Recently, there has been an increased interest in studying individual differences between bilinguals, for example in terms of their age of acquisition, language proficiency, use, and switching. However, and despite the importance of this individual variation, studies often do not provide detailed assessments of their bilingual participants. This review first discusses several aspects of bilingualism that have been studied in relation to executive functioning. Next, I review different questionnaires and objective measurements that have been proposed to better define bilingual experiences. In order to better understand (effects of) bilingualism within and across studies, it is crucial to carefully examine and describe not only a bilingual's proficiency and age of acquisition, but also their language use and switching as well as the different interactional contexts in which they use their languages.
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Bilinguals learn to resolve conflict between their two languages and that skill has been hypothesized to create long-term adaptive changes in cognitive functioning. Yet, little is known about how bilinguals recruit cognitive control to enable efficient use of one of their languages, especially in the less skilled and more effortful second language (L2). Here we examined how real-time cognitive control engagement influences L2 sentence comprehension (i.e., conflict adaptation). We tested a group of English monolinguals and a group of L2 English speakers using a recently-developed cross-task adaptation paradigm. Stroop sequences were pseudo-randomly interleaved with a visual-world paradigm in which participants were asked to carry out spoken instructions that were either syntactically ambiguous or unambiguous. Consistent with previous research, eye-movement results showed that Stroop-related conflict improved the ability to engage correct-goal interpretations, and disengage incorrect-goal interpretations, during ambiguous instructions. Such cognitive-to-language modulations were similar in both groups, but only in the engagement piece. In the disengagement portion, the modulation emerged earlier in bilinguals than in monolinguals, suggesting group differences in attentional disengagement following cognitive control recruitment. Additionally, incorrect-goal eye-movements were modulated by individual differences in working memory, although differently for each group, suggesting an involvement of both language-specific and domain-general resources.
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Bilingualism was once thought to result in cognitive disadvantages, but research in recent decades has demonstrated that experience with two (or more) languages confers a bilingual advantage in executive functions and may delay the incidence of Alzheimer's disease. However, conflicting evidence has emerged leading to questions concerning the robustness of the bilingual advantage for both executive functions and dementia incidence. Some investigators have failed to find evidence of a bilingual advantage; others have suggested that bilingual advantages may be entirely spurious, while proponents of the advantage case have continued to defend it. A heated debate has ensued, and the field has now reached an impasse. This review critically examines evidence for and against the bilingual advantage in executive functions, cognitive aging, and brain plasticity, before outlining how future research could shed light on this debate and advance knowledge of how experience with multiple languages affects cognition and the brain.
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Variation in the ways by which an individual processes codeswitched language may reveal fundamental dynamics of the language system that are otherwise obscured under unilingual conditions. Despite this, an important aspect that has been largely neglected in the field is the role of the bilingual experience in language processing. Drawing on corpus-driven and experimental research, the corpus-to-cognition approach to codeswitching integrates field-and laboratory-based work to examine how the bilingual experience may influence language processing. In this review, we elaborate on the best practices for investigating codeswitching, with converging evidence from different methodologies across different bilingual populations.
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Thematic role assignment - generally, figuring out who did what to whom - is a critical component of sentence comprehension, which is influenced by both syntactic and semantic cues. Conflict between these cues can result in temporary consideration of multiple incompatible interpretations during real-time sentence processing. We tested whether the resolution of syntax-semantics conflict can be expedited by the online engagement of cognitive control processes that are routinely used to regulate behavior across domains. In this study, cognitive control deployment from a previous Stroop trial influenced eye movements during subsequent sentence comprehension. Specifically, when syntactic and semantic cues competed for influence on interpretation, dynamic cognitive control engagement led to (a) fewer overall looks to a picture illustrating the competing but incorrect interpretation (Experiment 1), or (b) steeper growth in looks to a picture illustrating the correct interpretation (Experiment 2). Thus, prior cognitive control engagement facilitated the resolution of syntax-semantics conflict by biasing processing towards the intended analysis. This conflict adaptation effect demonstrates a causal connection between cognitive control and real-time thematic role assignment. Broader patterns demonstrated that prior cognitive control engagement also modulated sentence processing irrespective of the presence of conflict, reflecting increased integration of newly arriving cues with prior sentential content. Together, the results suggest that cognitive control helps listeners determine correct event roles during real-time comprehension.
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Cognitive advantages for bilinguals have inconsistently been observed in different populations, with different operationalisations of bilingualism, cognitive performance, and the process by which language control transfers to cognitive control. This calls for studies investigating which aspects of multilingualism drive a cognitive advantage, in which populations and under which conditions. This study reports on two cognitive tasks coupled with an extensive background questionnaire on health, wellbeing, personality, language knowledge and language use, administered to 387 older adults in the northern Netherlands, a small but highly multilingual area. Using linear mixed effects regression modeling, we find that when different languages are used frequently in different contexts, enhanced attentional control is observed. Subsequently, a PLS regression model targeting also other influential factors yielded a two-component solution whereby only more sensitive measures of language proficiency and language usage in different social contexts were predictive of cognitive performance above and beyond the contribution of age, gender, income and education. We discuss these findings in light of previous studies that try to uncover more about the nature of bilingualism and the cognitive processes that may drive an advantage. With an unusually large sample size our study advocates for a move away from dichotomous, knowledge-based operationalisations of multilingualism and offers new insights for future studies at the individual level.
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We investigated the independent contributions of second language (L2) age of acquisition (AoA) and social diversity of language use on intrinsic brain organization using seed-based resting-state functional connectivity among highly proficient French-English bilinguals. There were two key findings. First, earlier L2 AoA related to greater interhemispheric functional connectivity between homologous frontal brain regions, and to decreased reliance on proactive executive control in an AX-Continuous Performance Task completed outside the scanner. Second, greater diversity in social language use in daily life related to greater connectivity between the anterior cingulate cortex and the putamen bilaterally, and to increased reliance on proactive control in the same task. These findings suggest that early vs. late L2 AoA links to a specialized neural framework for processing two languages that may engage a specific type of executive control (e.g., reactive control). In contrast, higher vs. lower degrees of diversity in social language use link to a broadly distributed set of brain networks implicated in proactive control and context monitoring.
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Analyses of corpus-based indices of conversational code-switching in bilingual speakers predict the occurrence of intra-sentential code-switches consistent with the joint activation of both languages. Yet most utterances contain no code-switches despite good evidence for the joint activation of both languages even in single language utterances. Varying language activation levels is an insufficient mechanism to explain the variety of language use. We need a model of code-switching, consistent with the joint activation of both languages, which permits the range of language use in bilingual speakers. I treat overt speech as the outcome of a number of competitive processes governed by a set of control processes external to the language networks. In a conversation, the speech of the other person may “trigger” code-switches consistent with bottom-up control. By contrast, the intentions of the speaker may act top-down to set the constraints on language use. Given this dual control perspective, the paper extends the control process model (Green and Wei 2014) to cover a plausible neurocomputational basis for the construction and execution of utterance plans in code-switching. Distinct control states mediate different types of language use with switching frequency as a key parameter in determining the control state for code-switches. The paper considers the nature of these states and their transitions.
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Recent theories propose that language-switching in bilinguals influences executive control. We investigated whether switching behaviour, shaped by the bilingual's interactional context as well as personal preferences impacted attentional control. We compared four groups – (i) Edinburgh monolinguals, (ii) Edinburgh non-switching late bilinguals, (iii) Edinburgh non-switching early bilinguals, and (iv) Singapore switching early bilinguals – on two tasks of attentional control. Effects of interactional context were observed, with Singapore bilinguals performing better on conflict resolution in the Attention Network Task and Edinburgh late bilinguals on attentional switching in the Elevator reversal (Test of Everyday Attention) subtest. Our results suggest that the interactional context of bilinguals could impact attentional control differently.
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Language research has provided insight into how speakers translate a thought into a sequence of sounds that ultimately becomes words, phrases, and sentences. Despite the complex stages involved in this process, relatively little is known about how we avoid and handle production and comprehension errors that would otherwise impede communication. We review current research on the mechanisms underlying monitoring and control of the language system, especially production, with particular emphasis on whether such monitoring is issued by domain-general or domain-specific procedures.
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We conducted a comprehensive literature review of studies of word retrieval in connected speech in healthy aging and reviewed relevant aphasia research that could shed light on the aging literature. Four main hypotheses guided the review: (1) Significant retrieval difficulties would lead to reduced output in connected speech. (2) Significant retrieval difficulties would lead to a more limited lexical variety in connected speech. (3) Significant retrieval difficulties would lead to an increase in word substitution errors and in pronoun use as well as to greater dysfluency and hesitation in connected speech. (4) Retrieval difficulties on tests of single-word production would be associated with measures of word retrieval in connected speech. Studies on aging did not confirm these four hypotheses, unlike studies on aphasia that generally did. The review suggests that future research should investigate how context facilitates word production in old age.
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Bilingualism is reported to re-structure executive control networks, but it remains unknown which aspects of the bilingual experience cause this modulation. This study explores the impact of three code-switching types on executive functions: (1) alternation , (2) insertion , and (3) dense code-switching or congruent lexicalisation . Current models hypothesise that different code-switching types challenge different aspects of the executive system because they vary in the extent and scope of language separation. Two groups of German-English bilinguals differing in dense code-switching frequency participated in a flanker task under conditions varying in degree of trial-mixing and resulting demands to conflict-monitoring. Bilinguals engaging in more dense code-switching showed inhibitory advantages in the condition requiring most conflict-monitoring. Moreover, dense code-switching frequency correlated positively with monitoring skills. This suggests that dense code-switching is a key experience shaping bilinguals’ executive functioning and highlights the importance of controlling for participants’ code-switching habits in bilingualism research.
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How do bilinguals switch easily between languages in everyday conversation, when thousands of studies have found that switching slows responses? Previous research has not considered that although switches may happen for different reasons, only some switches – including those typically studied in laboratory experiments – might be costly. Using a repeated picture naming task, we show that bilinguals can maintain and use two languages as efficiently as a single language, switching between them frequently without any cost, if they switch only when a word is more accessible in the other language. These results suggest that language switch costs arise during lexical selection, that top-down language control mechanisms can be suspended, and that language-mixing efficiency can be strategically increased with instruction. Thus, bilinguals might switch languages spontaneously because doing so is not always costly, and there appears to be greater flexibility and efficiency in the cognitive mechanisms that enable switching than previously assumed.
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We employ code-switching (the alternation of two languages in bilingual communication) to test the hypothesis, derived from experience-based models of processing (e.g., Boland, Tanenhaus, Carlson, & Garnsey, 1989; Gennari & MacDonald, 2009), that bilinguals are sensitive to the combinatorial distributional patterns derived from production and that they use this information to guide processing during the comprehension of code-switched sentences. An analysis of spontaneous bilingual speech confirmed the existence of production asymmetries involving two auxiliary + participle phrases in Spanish–English code-switches. A subsequent eye-tracking study with two groups of bilingual code-switchers examined the consequences of the differences in distributional patterns found in the corpus study for comprehension. Participants’ comprehension costs mirrored the production patterns found in the corpus study. Findings are discussed in terms of the constraints that may be responsible for the distributional patterns in code-switching production and are situated within recent proposals of the links between production and comprehension.
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In an ongoing debate, bilingual research currently discusses whether bilingualism enhances non-linguistic executive control. The goal of this study was to investigate the influence of language-switching experience, rather than language proficiency, on this bilingual executive control advantage. We compared the performance of unbalanced bilinguals, balanced non-switching, and balanced switching bilinguals on two executive control tasks, i.e. a flanker and a Simon task. We found that the balanced switching bilinguals outperformed both other groups in terms of executive control performance, whereas the unbalanced and balanced non-switching bilinguals did not differ. These findings indicate that language-switching experience, rather than high second-language proficiency, is the key determinant of the bilingual advantage in cognitive control processes related to interference resolution.
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Mixture of Spanish and English, whether in isolated loan words or in code-switching of clauses and sentences, while socially motivated, is subject to clear linguistic constraints. Quantitative analysis of mixing in conversations of Mexican-Americans suggests specific functional constraints to express tense/aspect/mood and subject/object relationships, as well as structural constraints which permit only surface structures which are grammatical in both languages. Resolution of structural conflict plays a key role, so that lexical cores trigger longer phrasal switches if they govern rules which create non-shared surface structures. The relative frequency of mixes without structural conflict is constrained by discourse function.
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This study analyzes gender assignment in Spanish–Basque mixed nominal constructions with nouns in Basque (a language that lacks gender) and determiners in Spanish (a language that marks gender) by using a multi-task approach: (i) naturalistic data, (ii) an elicitation task, and (iii) an auditory judgment task. Naturalistic data suggest cross-language effects under which a morphological marker of Basque (-a determiner) is interpreted as a morphophonological expression of gender marking in Spanish. A preference for feminine determiners was observed in the judgment task, which differs from the masculine default trend observed in Spanish–English bilinguals (Jake, Myers-Scotton & Gross, 2002). Our results point to feminine gender as default in Spanish–Basque mixed DPs, indicating that the resources that bilinguals use for gender assignment can be different from those of monolinguals. We argue that this is an outcome of interacting processes which take place at the interfaces (lexicon, phonology, morphosyntax) of both languages, resulting in cross-language effects.
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The relation between bilingualism and cognition is informative about the connection between language and mind. From the perspective of language, the question is how bilingualism might help or hinder cognition – narrowly interpreted here as executive function. From the perspective of higher cognition, the question is what kinds of experiences improve executive function. Reported cognitive benefits from bilingualism range from none to substantial as a function of age, type of bilingualism (e.g., life-long balanced vs later-onset or infrequent use of the other language), syntactic relation between the two languages, socio-economic and immigrant status, task, and laboratory. To understand the variability and inconsistencies in results with bilingualism, I analyze concepts of executive function and cognitive reserve and examine the range of factors (such as active video game playing, education, musical training, and aerobic exercise) that are known to correlate with or to improve executive function. I suggest that a) “executive function” is a complex set of cognitive processes, the components of which are sometimes minimally correlated with each other, depending on the task; b) bilingualism is inconsistently correlated with superior executive function and delayed onset of dementia; c) all speakers (mono- or bilingual) have non-linguistic ways of improving executive function; and d) benefits from bilingualism – and all cognitively challenging activities – are inconsistent because individuals vary in the number and kinds of experiences they have that promote superior executive function.
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It is a widely held belief that bilinguals have an advantage over monolinguals in executive-control tasks, but is this what all studies actually demonstrate? The idea of a bilingual advantage may result from a publication bias favoring studies with positive results over studies with null or negative effects. To test this hypothesis, we looked at conference abstracts from 1999 to 2012 on the topic of bilingualism and executive control. We then determined which of the studies they reported were subsequently published. Studies with results fully supporting the bilingual-advantage theory were most likely to be published, followed by studies with mixed results. Studies challenging the bilingual advantage were published the least. This discrepancy was not due to differences in sample size, tests used, or statistical power. A test for funnel-plot asymmetry provided further evidence for the existence of a publication bias. © The Author(s) 2014.
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The current study contrasted cued versus voluntary switching to investigate switching efficiency and possible sharing of control mechanisms across linguistic and nonlinguistic domains. Bilinguals switched between naming pictures in Spanish versus English or between reading numbers aloud versus adding their digits, either without or with repetition of stimuli and with fewer requirements as to when and how much they had to switch relative to previous instantiations of voluntary switching. Without repetition (Experiment 1), voluntary responses were faster than cued responses on both stay and switch trials (especially in the nonlinguistic switching task), whereas in previous studies the voluntary advantage was restricted to switch-cost reduction. Similarly, when targets were presented repeatedly (Experiment 2), voluntary responses were faster overall for both linguistic and nonlinguistic switching, although here the advantage tended to be larger on switch trials and cross-domain similarity appeared to reflect nonoverlapping switching strategies. Experiment 3 confirmed the overall voluntary speed advantage for the read-add task in monolinguals and revealed a reduction in switch costs only for a different nonlinguistic task (size-parity judgments). These results reveal greater overall advantages for voluntary over cued switching than previously reported but also that the precise manifestation of the voluntary advantage can vary with different tasks. In the linguistic domain, lexical inaccessibility introduces some unique control mechanisms, and repetition may magnify cross-domain overlap in control mechanisms. Finally, under some limited conditions, cost-free switches were found in both linguistic and nonlinguistic domains; however, suspension of top-down control may be restricted to language or highly automatic tasks. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
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